I am the LORD, and there is no other,
besides me there is no God;
I equip you, though you do not know me,
that people may know, from the rising of the sun
and from the west, that there is none besides me;
I am the LORd, and there is no other.
(Isaiah 45:5-6, ESV; all Bible quotations are from the ESV).
Yesterday my family and I continued reading in our after-breakfast Bible reading time the section of Chapter 14, “God in Three Persons: The Trinity,” of Wayne Grudem’s Systematic Theology (Zondervan, 1994) which develops these statements about the Trinity: (1) God is three persons, (2) Each person is fully God, and (3) There is one God. We’d already read what Grudem said about (1) and (2), and so yesterday we read what he said about (3). Here I’ll share from what we read.
From beginning to end the Bible asserts that the three persons of the Trinity–the Father, the Son (Jesus Christ), and the Holy Spirit–are one not only in purpose and thought but also in essence (essential nature). In other words, that there is only one God, not three Gods.
I opened this post with a passage in which God declares in no uncertain terms that there is only one God and that He is that one God. Here are some other passages cited by Grudem that convey a similar message:
– “Who is like you, O LORD, among the gods? Who is like you, majestic in holiness, awesome in glorious deeds, doing wonders?” (Exodus 15:11) This is part of the song that Moses and the people of Israel sang to God after crossing the Red Sea. Obviously the answer to their questions is, “No one is!”
– “Hear, O Israel: The LORD our God, the LORD is one. You shall love the LORD your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your might.” (Deuteronomy 6:4-5) This passage is called the Shema (from the Hebrew word for “Hear”) and is part of an address that Moses made to the people of Israel as they prepared to enter the Promised Land.
– “There is no other god besides me, a righteous God and a Savior; there is none besides me. Turn to me and be saved, all the ends of the earth! For I am God, and there is no other.” (Isaiah 45:21-22) Like the passage with which I opened this post, this is part of an address that God made to Jewish exiles in Babylon in which He comforts them by promising to display His glory.
– “Is God the God of Jews only? Is he not the God of Gentiles also? Yes, of Gentiles also, since God is one.” (Romans 3:29-30)
– “Although there may be so-called gods in heaven or on earth…yet for us there is one God, the Father, from whom are all things and for whom we exist.” (Romans 8:5-6)
– “You believe that God is one; you do well. Even the demons believe–and shudder!” (James 2:19) James claims that even the demons realize that God is one. He adds that they shudder, knowing that more than believing is needed for salvation–accepting and acting on the Gospel are also required. However, despite that, he commends those who believe, saying that they “do well.”